Attralus, backed by venBio Partners,  recruits new leadership team to support advancement of its pipeline to bring transformational pan-amyloid removal therapies to the systemic amyloidosis field

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – May 10, 2021 – Attralus, announced the appointment of Mark Timney as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors. Timney brings to Attralus more than 30 years of leadership experience at publicly traded and global biopharmaceutical companies, including his most recent role as CEO of The Medicines Company (NASDAQ: MDCO) until its sale for $9.7 billion to Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) which was completed in 2020.  Timney joins Attralus to accelerate clinical development of its product pipeline and expand the company’s business plan.  Spencer Guthrie, the co-founder who led the company during early development, will continue at Attralus as Chief Operating Officer.

The company also expanded the Board of Directors with the appointment of Rahul Kakkar, MD as an independent director who brings 20 years of experience founding and building biotechnology companies and as a practicing physician. In addition, the company announced the appointment of four additional executives to its leadership team:  Gregory Bell, MD, Chief Medical Officer; Glen Firestone, Chief Business Officer; Krishna Gorti, MD, Head of Corporate Development; and Michael Klein, PhD, Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC). Each of these executives brings more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in their respective areas of expertise.

“We are pleased to welcome Mark Timney as CEO of Attralus, as he brings a track record for delivering value for patients, health care systems and investors. His leadership will guide Attralus to realize the potential of its transformative therapies for systemic amyloidosis which address a wide range of unmet needs for patients with all forms of this disease,” said Richard Gaster, MD, PhD, Attralus Board member and Partner at venBio Partners.  

Mark Timney, Chief Executive Officer

Mark Timney stated, “I am excited to lead Attralus, a company built on deep fundamental research in the field of amyloidosis with a strong commitment to delivering life-changing therapies for patients. I see an extraordinary opportunity for Attralus to advance novel pan-amyloid removal therapies that open the potential to treat and reverse disease in patients with all types of systemic amyloidosis. There are extensive, unmet medical needs that can be addressed by diagnosing and therapeutically removing toxic, disease-causing amyloid in patients with systemic amyloidosis. I look forward to working with the very talented team at Attralus to make a significant difference in the lives of these patients.”

In leadership roles at publicly traded and global biopharmaceutical companies, Timney has successfully managed companies through stages of growth and transition, launched numerous breakthrough medicines, and led high-value strategic transactions. Most recently, Timney served as CEO and Board member of The Medicines Company where he led the company through late-stage clinical development and maximized the potential for inclisiran, a first-in-class siRNA cholesterol-lowering therapy. These actions increased shareholder return more than three-fold within one year and culminated in the company’s acquisition by Novartis. Previously, he held senior roles in biopharmaceutical companies that include Merck & Co., Purdue Pharmaceuticals, Zeneca Group, ICI Pharmaceuticals and Roussel Labs, and has led markets that include the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.  Timney received a bachelor’s degree from Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University) in Newcastle in the United Kingdom.

New Board Member

Rahul Kakkar, MD, Independent Board Director: Dr. Kakkar is a biotech entrepreneur and physician-scientist with nearly 20 years of professional experience, spanning founding and building biotechnology companies, as well as working as a practicing physician. Most recently, he was Chief Executive Officer at Pandion Therapeutics, a company developing innovative modular therapeutics autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, which he led to reach the stage as a clinical-stage company and successfully completed an initial public offering prior to Pandion’s acquisition by Merck for $1.9 billion. Prior to joining Pandion, he served as an executive at Corvidia Therapeutics where he was a founder, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, guiding the company from seed stage through Series B and its lead asset through clinical proof of concept. Corvidia was acquired by Novo Nordisk for $2.1 billion. Corvidia was a “spin-out” from AstraZeneca, where Dr. Kakkar had served as Director for Emerging Innovations, responsible for preclinical through Phase 2 clinical studies both for compounds within the AstraZeneca pipeline and in support of compound out-licensing efforts. He continues to practice medicine as Associate Physician at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital and is a Lecturer in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kakkar is dual-trained via the American Board of Internal Medicine Fast Track program in molecular biology and clinical cardiology, and he is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

New Executive Leaders

Attralus has appointed these veteran biopharmaceutical leaders who bring deep clinical, manufacturing and business expertise to support the company’s growth and clinical advancement of its pipeline.

  • Gregory Bell, MD, Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Bell has extensive expertise in the development of investigational therapies, having recently served as Vice President, Safety Risk Management of the Immunology, Infectious Disease and Ophthalmology portfolio at Genentech. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Development and Chief Medical Officer at KAI Pharmaceuticals where he led the global development of Parsabiv® until Amgen acquired KAI in 2012. Earlier in his career, Bell served as Vice President of Clinical Development, Biometrics and Clinical Operations at Abgenix with responsibilities across all clinical programs including Vectibix®; at Merck, he contributed to several products that received regulatory approval including Vioxx®, Etoricoxib® and Cancidas®.  Prior to joining Attralus, Greg was Senior Vice President of Development at Global Blood Therapeutics.  
  • Glen Firestone, Chief Business Officer:  Mr. Firestone has a distinguished 25-year career as an executive leader and has utilized his deep strategic and commercial expertise to build businesses, launch breakthrough therapies, improve patients’ lives and create value.  Firestone recently led a consulting business advising biotech companies on corporate growth strategies, commercialization, product development, market access, and business development.  Previously, he served as a strategic advisor to Valo Health and was Head of Commercialization at Tmunity Therapeutics.  Earlier, Firestone spent 20 years as a commercial executive at Merck with responsibility for leading many global and U.S. franchises, including the cardiovascular business, launching innovative medicines, building blockbuster product portfolios, negotiating business development deals and building partnerships.
  • Krishna Gorti, MD, Head of Corporate Development: Dr. Gorti has a rich and diverse background including roles in corporate development and investor relations, as an investment analyst covering biotechnology companies, as a physician trained in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, and as a clinical and translational researcher. In his previous tenure with The Medicines Company, he served as Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and played an integral role in value-building initiatives, as well as working in earlier roles in business development and strategy. Prior to roles with biopharmaceutical companies, Gorti was a biotechnology industry equity research analyst with leading financial institutions, including JP Morgan, Piper Jaffray and Rodman & Renshaw.
  • Michael Klein, PhD, Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC): Dr. Klein has more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, having spent his career working in various aspects of CMC development of therapeutic proteins, including monoclonal antibodies, Fc fusions, bispecific and multifunctional therapeutics. Most recently, Klein served as Vice President of Analytical Development at Nektar Therapeutics and was a member of the leadership team of the company’s Product Development and Manufacturing group. Previously, he was CMC scientific leader at Agenus, Atara Bio, Xencor, Protein Design Labs and Amgen.

About Systemic Amyloidosis

Systemic amyloidosis encompasses a diverse group of rare diseases that occur due to accumulation of toxic amyloid fibrils in tissues and organs, which is triggered by aberrant protein misfolding. These diseases are progressive, debilitating and often fatal.  Systemic amyloidosis is significantly underdiagnosed due to low awareness, lack of specific symptoms, and no current disease-specific diagnostics. The two most common forms of systemic amyloidosis are transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) and amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis.  

About Attralus

Attralus is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating transformative medicines to improve the lives of patients with systemic amyloidosis. The company’s proprietary pan-amyloid removal (PAR) therapeutic product candidates are designed to directly bind to and remove toxic amyloid in organs and tissues. By targeting the universal disease-causing pathology in all systemic amyloidosis diseases, PAR therapeutics have the potential to treat and reverse disease in patients with all types and stages of systemic amyloidosis. Attralus was founded by scientific experts in the field of amyloidosis and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.